In my last post I talked about how easy it is to consume information. I worked off the assumption that successful people are lifelong learners and that they’re constantly challenging themselves to read and learn. I freely admit that I’ve been in situations where I subscribe to too much information and it becomes an overload, and thus overwhelming. Progress is hindered, stress is raised, and everything needs to get reset. So I reset my intake of information and I prioritize it according to Covey’s idea about Big Rocks, putting the most important things first on my schedule. But even if I’m completely happy with what I’m reading and learning, I would argue that I still am not efficiently growing as a leader if I’m only consuming information. What I take in needs to be proportional to what I put out. Consumption needs to lead to creation.
That’s one of my goals with this blog. I need to process what I’m reading and learning and translate it to how it’s helping me grow as a man. Have you ever written in a journal or written a meaningful letter to a friend or family member? Writing forces you to process your thoughts much further than you would just in your mind. You can read about leadership all you want, but until you apply what you’re learning to your work situation, you won’t fully grow as a leader. On a social level, you can look at all your friends’ pictures, but what if you spent 30 minutes creating your own photo album for yourself and for others to enjoy. You can read about the news for hours and know the headlines, but what about writing a personal commentary on it and taking a stand on some of the issues.
I don’t intend to be an expert on this, but I’ve certainly been challenged lately to shift my time in front of the computer from consuming information to creating content.